Welcome to Perth Zoo

The Zoo strives for scientific excellence, encourages diversity of thinking and fosters strategic collaborations to further our research goals.

The culture of research at Perth Zoo is one of innovation and enterprise. Our people are accustomed to developing innovative solutions to achieve their research goals. 

We recruit and train in a research culture, which fosters links to external research organizations and researchers on an ongoing basis.

What do we offer?

  • Perth Zoo is able to provide collaborative research opportunities for students (at Honours, Masters and PhD level) and university researchers. Capacity to collaborate on, or host research projects will depend on the nature of the project, Zoo staff availability and the number of other projects already being supported.
  • Research projects can involve animals in the Perth Zoo collection or can be focused on aspects that do not involve the use of animals and hence may not need the approval of an animal ethics committee (e.g. education, sustainable resource use). (Note: Many prospective students wish to conduct research on ‘charismatic mega fauna’ species, but the realities of zoos are that they typically hold only small numbers of these species and there is usually limited scope to conduct research involving them. Students should be realistic about what they would like to work on once they are qualified, and which species are better suited for working with while you are still learning).
  • A Perth Zoo staff member may be available to co-supervise projects and assist students with their work. However, researchers should not consider projects that require Perth Zoo staff to collect all the data on their behalf, as this is seldom practical.
  • Perth Zoo is not in a position to directly fund research projects originating from external organizations but it provides considerable in-kind support through animal access, biological samples and stored data, with those animals fully cared for, fed and managed at Perth Zoo. Keeping staff will sometimes be available to assist with procedures and senior Perth Zoo staff may also be able to co-supervise research projects further adding to the in-kind contribution.

What is required to apply?

  1. Students interested in doing a project at the Zoo should first be accepted (or provisionally accepted) as an Honours, Masters or PhD student with the university of their choice.
  2. Students wishing to do an Honours project at Perth Zoo will need to demonstrate they have a 70% (or above) average assessment from their core units over their three previous undergraduate years and that they have a sound command of written English.
  3. You should then contact the Director of Animal Health and Research to discuss potential research projects available at Perth Zoo.
  4. If your research project involves animals, you will need to fill out a Research and Ethics Application, which must then be approved by Perth Zoo’s Research and Animal Ethics Committee prior to your starting work. Developing your Research Proposal can take time so you need to do this well in advance of when you wish to begin work. (We recommend a minimum of sixteen weeks to have all arrangements and formalities settled by commencement). 
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